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ANCHORAGE - When Jan Perkins opened her porch door to find out what was causing such a racket in the middle of the night, the Chuathbaluk resident reached out to calm the large animal she thought was Muffy, the family Pyrenees.
It wasn't Muffy. It was a big gray wolf eating out of Muffy's bowl.
The day after the midnight raid last week, her husband shot the animal. They're having the pelt tanned.
Wolves are occasional visitors in villages along the Kuskokwim River, over the western horizon from Anchorage.
The wolf that sneaked into Jan and Dan Perkins' porch probably smelled a bag of thawing fish they had planned to feed to their dogs, Muffy and a chocolate Labrador named Boo, Jan Perkins said.
"We heard our dogs barking, just going haywire," she said. Dan figured it was a porcupine, but Jan wanted to check. Leaning against the door was a big doglike animal that she assumed was 100-pound, white-haired Muffy.
"I was ready to step onto the porch to pet it," said Jan Perkins, who is the village postmaster. "But when I looked a little closer, it had black guard hairs."